Howard Stern is back, Survivor 12 presents another problem, and some movie awards you may not have heard about.

By:

The Dude on the Right


Stu Gotz couldn’t make it today for our weekend wrap-up, although we might try
to pull that off tomorrow, but I still wanted to hip you to some things you
might have missed over the past few days.  First off,
Howard Stern is back on
the air, but only if you pay for him, and from my perspective, if you were a fan
of his before the investment should be worth the money.  Secondly, my
television viewing will really get messed up in February as "Survivor"
kicks back in with its new season, against "Smallville"
and "Dancing
With the Stars
."  I’m so screwed.  Lastly, I talk about a
movie/video awards show you probably missed this weekend because, well, it
wasn’t on TV.  Lots of big winners, they even have a special effects
category, although the more I think about this, and I have to really stop
thinking about this, should they really have this category.  Oh well.

Thanks for listening and reading, and as always I welcome your comments.

That’s it for this one!  I’m The Dude on the Right!!  L8R!!!

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Howard Stern, Censored Again Because of “Let Freedom Ring,” The Dude’s Mom is Worried About “Dancing With the Stars,” and a Weekend Dilemma.

By:

The Dude on the Right

I’m still a little perplexed as to when to write a blog, and when to do a
podcast, mostly, because, in the grand scheme of things, the podcast is just so
much simpler.  All I have to do is flip a switch, start a couple of
programs, talk about what I’m thinking, and "Bam!!!", I’m done, other than
getting things posted.  But sometimes I just seem to be in the mood to
type, and this seems to be one of those times, especially adding links to things
that I am writing about.  Anyway, let’s go.

First off, and I guess I missed the bulk of the
story when I was back in Ohio around Christmas, but I didn’t realize Howard
Stern created such a

hubbabaloo
with his latest billboard campaign until a few days ago.  It
seems that Howard and
the folks at Sirius Satellite
Radio
launched a billboard campaign with the tagline "Let freedom ring. 
And let it be rung by a stripper." When I first heard the tagline I found it
kind of funny, and thought to myself "Self, wasn’t that in a Martina McBride
song?  I remember that line from somewhere?"  And then it occurred to
me, it was from the song "My Country ‘Tis of Thee."  That doesn’t seem to
be where the controversy came from, though.  It seems Dr. Martin Luther
King incorporated the phrase into his "I
Have a Dream
" speech, even referencing the song.  At least two
billboards were put up along Chicago expressways, meant, pretty much, to try and
catch the glimpse of those driving into downtown Chicago, probably on their way
to work, stuck in traffic, and maybe create a smile in the heart of every dude
and a little bit of disgust in the heart of every dudette.  Except,
according to a Reverend in Chicago, the phrase "Let freedom ring" was made
"popular" by Dr. King, and it is disrespectful to the African-American community
to trivialize it, and since the billboard locations were in African-American
communities, that made it even worse.

The
protest wasn’t started by the Reverend you might thing it would have been
started by, namely Reverend Jesse Jackson, but by a Catholic Priest, Rev.
Pfleger, who lost all respect by our own Stu Gotz when

he threatened to leave the Church if he was transferred
from his parish. 
In any case, it seems the Reverend Pfleger got his wish, and both Viacom and
Clear Channel

bowed to his pressure and removed the ads
after protest threats.  I
hope Sirius got their money back.  But that isn’t even my real problem with
this.  My problem is that both the Reverend and, yes, Reverend Jesse
Jackson did chime it later, made this thing about race and the location of the
original billboard, when the billboard’s location is meant for one thing, and
one thing only – to catch the glimpse of those driving into Chicago on the Dan
Ryan Expressway.  They use the fact that the billboard structure is located
in an African American community as their sounding board, that somehow this ad
is meant to trivialize Dr. Martin Luther King, and that’s bad.  Had this ad
been on a local billboard, at ground level in an African American community, I
might, sort of, agree with their argument, but I have to wonder, if the first
billboard got put up off of the Ronald Reagan Tollway here in Illinois, if they
would have even noticed, or cared.

On a
lighter note, my mother wonders about "Dancing
With the Stars
," and how did Jerry Rice and his partner get the score they
got the other night.  Mom says, and I quote "what’s
with Jerry Rice getting 3  7’s when actually all he did was move around while
she did all the shaking and I mean SHAKING!!!!!!!!!"  I had to agree with
my Mom, although I did admit to her that I was watching
his
partner
a hell of a lot more than the

greatest wide receiver ever in the NFL
.  I really hope there isn’t a
fix.

Well, I’ve got
to wrap up this blog and plan my weekend.  It’s looking like I’ll catch the
movies "Match Point," where I’m bound to fall back in love with Scarlett
Johansson, and either "Grandma’s Boy" or "The Ringer" for me being of the easily
amused and looking for something to be easily amused by.  And, oh yea, I
have one more dilemma to work out this week, namely do I buy another Sirius
receiver for my home or just listen to Howard in my car come Monday, January
9th, when freedom rings, and I, personally hope it will be rung by a stripper. 
From the replay of the test show on Howard 100 today, there looks to be many a
technical difficulty come Monday, enough which might actually make Howard’s head
explode.  I’m sure this would be much more entertaining on video, but even
on the radio, I’m thinking Howard can still make that pretty funny.  But
Johnny B.
is back in Chicago, and I started here listening to him when I first arrived
here back in 1985, even awakened one morning hearing our own Stu Gotz talking
with Johnny about things and a bunny rabbit, and I have been listening to him
since Howard has been off the air, and have found the Brandmeier-meister just as
amusing in a different way.  I’m so torn.  I guess the weekend, and my
compulsive disorder, will tell how this all works out.  I think I need a
couple of TIVO’s for my radio personalities now, but when would I listen to them
when I’m still watching my replays of "Dancing With the Stars?"  I’m so
screwed.

That’s it for this one!  I’m The Dude on the Right!!  L8R!!!

The third time’s a charm and “Dancing With the Stars” talk.

By:

The Dude on the Right


I always said I would just push "Record," start talking, and let that be our
podcast.  Not this time, the third time had to be the charm.  The
first try had one computer glitch that I couldn’t fix on the fly, the second try
had my recording computer freeze thanks to a bad anti-virus program kick-in, so
I finally got everything to go on the third try.  The sad part is most of
it admits that I am a fan of "Dancing With the Stars" and ABC has now given me
huge problems on my Thursday night television viewing since I don’t have enough
TIVO’s to record everything I want to watch.

As always, I welcome your comments.

That’s it for this one!  I’m The Dude on the Right!!  L8R!!!

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Stu and The Dude’s Weekend Wrap-Up: A boring New Year’s Eve, a disgusting night watchman shack, and “The Producers” talk.

By:

The Dude on the Right


What better way to ring in the new year than with another episode of "Stu and
The Dude’s Weekend Wrap-Up!"  Yup, Stu and I got together to do a 15ish
minute discussion of our New Year’s Weekend.  Me, my Eve’s evening was
pretty boring, and Stu had his Pretty Lady’s parents in town.  We also did
a discussion about my seeing the new movie version of "The Producers," and just
how disgusting Stu’s old night watchman’s shack became over time.

As always, I welcome your comments.

That’s it for this one!  I’m The Dude on the Right!!  L8R!!!

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Our Last Podcast of Oh Five, With Some Reviewing of The Producers Thrown In.

By:

The Dude on the Right


I’ll be the first to admit that this podcast is probably pretty boring.  I
even thought about just deleting it altogether, but hell, I recorded it, I might
as well put it out there for your boredom pleasure.  Pretty much it’s talk
about me spending New Year’s Eve at home, all by my dude lonesome, and my couple
of resolutions, or goals, or whatever you want to call them.  There is some
reviewing of the new movie version of "The Producers" for your listening
pleasure, but in any case, Happy New Year!!

As always, I welcome your comments.

That’s it for this one!  I’m The Dude on the Right!!  L8R!!!

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Stu and The Dude’s Weekend Wrap-Up: Christmas stories and talk about “Fun With Dick and Jane.”

By:

The Dude on the Right


In this episode of "Stu and The Dude’s Weekend Wrap-Up," it’s actually a
Christmas Weekend wrap-up.  Sadly there was another death to a parent of
one of our friends, but for the most part, Stu recapped how getting a garbage
can for Christmas can be a good thing and how his son saw Santa, I talked about
how cash is a great Christmas gift, and we both discussed the movie "Fun With
Dick & Jane
."  I also started explaining to Stu how I have ruined "Santa
Clause is Coming to Town" and "The Year Without a Santa Clause" for my nephew,
and since then I’ve been informed that it’s Jingle and not Jangle who may have
been Flavor Flav’s major influence.  We’ve still got some audio issues
going on, but they’re getting better, I think.  Hope you had a nice
holiday, or at least the day off, for whomever you are.

As always, I welcome your comments.

That’s it for this one!  I’m The Dude on the Right!!  L8R!!!

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Hopefully it means we can all live together on this Earth of ours no matter what we believe.

By:

The Dude on the Right

This morning, while visiting my folks, a friend stopped by and I cheerfully
said, while snarfing down a bowl of
Frosted Flakes
, "Happy
Boxing Day!
"  She looked at me like I was an alien, although at first I
thought it was just the frosted flake stuck on my chin.  Then she said
"What?"  I retorted back, "Happy Boxing Day!"  Again I was an alien,
although by this time I was able to get rid of the stray flake so I knew it must
have been my comment that begat such a puzzled look and inquisitive tone. 
I quickly explained that today was "Boxing Day," the day after Christmas, and
it’s celebrated in places like Canada.  Knowing I was fighting a losing
battle in trying to explain any further, especially since I wasn’t totally
positive of its true meaning other than I thought it had something to do with
boxes and not boxing, I just sunk my face back into my bowl of cereal knowing
that Christmas was over, I would be heading back to the Chicago area soon, and
it was time to get back to normal, although this week wouldn’t be normal because
of some extenuating circumstances that may or may not come out in either a blog
or podcast this week, depending how things go.  For now I’ll just say some
of it is a bummer, some of it brings change, and some of it is supposed to bring
a new beginning, or at least a new year.

In any case, my Christmas weekend is
done, and it was pretty interesting.  I won’t go into much of it here, I’m
hoping Stu is ready for a Christmas Weekend Wrap-Up Podcast tomorrow, but if
not, I’ll host my own tomorrow night.  Here are some of the the low, mid,
and highlights.  The lowlight involved some bad news that no one really
wants to hear at this time of year, or really, at any time of year, namely a
friend’s parent passing away.  I learned this news on the drive back to see
my folks, and it really made for a reflective rest of the drive, in more ways
than one.  On the midlight side, there, under the Christmas tree at my
parent’s, was a card for me from my brother.  The thing was it was a thick,
puffy card, and I was suddenly struck with the paranoia that he actually got me
more than a card, that somehow a gift might have been stuck in there, and
suddenly my, his, and my sister’s agreement would come crashing to an end with
guilt for me.  On the highlight side, it was great to be home with the
family, although my sister and most of her family was missing.  I say most
of them because my nephew decided to hang out in the cold of Ohio rather than
the warmth of Texas.  For a sometimes change, I had someone to go with me
to a movie on Christmas Day, or on any day, so I didn’t have to go by my myself
and be what our staff member, Whammy, says of
people who go and see movies alone
I will always contend that I have to go because it’s my job.  Anyway, we
saw "Fun With Dick and Jane," which was pretty funny, pretty generic, and
hopefully a real review will follow in a couple of days.  I also realized
it wasn’t very nice to have an outside link describing my family in a bad light,
so, I actually removed them, although the Astros still got swept by the White
Sox, phhhhtttt.  And finally, on my highlight list, I believe I might have
ruined the animated shows "Santa
Clause is Coming to Town
" and "The
Year Without a Santa Clause
" for my nephew, mostly having to deal with the
Germans, the French, drugs, greedy kids, and a dude named
Flavor Flav (for a hint,
think of Jingle, or was it Jangle, oh hell, I don’t know, I’m just setting
myself a reminder to truly dissect these two animated shows next year in time
for the holidays, much like I did for my nephew as I watched them last night.)

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Good Kwanza, and I hope you enjoyed your
Atheist day off, or enjoyed whatever you might be celebrating at the end of the
year.  Hopefully all of it means we can all live together on this Earth of
ours with whatever we believe.  Sadly, it doesn’t seem that way. 
Here’s hoping next year is a little better that way.

That’s it for this one!  I’m The Dude on the Right!!  L8R!!!

Stu and The Dude’s Weekend Wrap-Up: A funeral, costumer service, and some movie talk.

By:

The Dude on the Right


Well, here it is, our first episode of "Stu and The Dude’s Weekend Wrap-Up"
podcast.  Yup, I took the Entertainment Ave! mobile podcast studio out on
the road, met up with
Stu
Gotz
, and we chatted for a bit about our respective weekends.  Both of
us went to a funeral home to pay respects to the father of a friend of ours who
had passed away, but Stu wondered the appropriateness of, because in a weird way
you usually catch up with old friends at weddings and funerals, laughing about
old times with friends at a time such as this.  Stu also couldn’t figure
out why his Old Lady couldn’t appreciate "Kung
Fu Hustle
," and there was some talk about customer service these days being
totally over the top, nonexistent, or badly trained.  I talked a bit about
"The
Family Stone
" and "Syriana."  All in all, I thought our first episode
went pretty well, although I do know some of the audio over-clipped a bit, then
got a little low, and I need to figure out how to stop popping my "P"s as it
goes in the audio world.  Hope you like our banter because this will mostly
likely be a weekly feature because, really, do you just want to hear me spouting
off about this and that?

As always, I welcome your comments.

That’s it for this one!  I’m The Dude on the Right!!  L8R!!!

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Our Mobile Podcast Studio, “The Family Stone” Could Have Been Better, and Go See “King Kong.”

By:

The Dude on the Right


I finally finished my initial vision of my mobile podcast studio, and this
podcast was made using that same "studio," I wonder why people aren’t going to
see "King
Kong
," and "The
Family Stone
" could have been such a better film without the easy, cheesy,
tear-jerker sub-plot.  If this mobile podcast studio works like I hope,
we’ll have Monday podcasts of "Stu and The Dude’s Weekend Wrap-ups" and more
importantly, our Video Podcasts of "Stu and The Dude Review the Movies for You." 
Hopefully not our last podcast of 2005, but here’s hoping 2006 eclipses your
2005 in any aspect.

As always, I welcome your comments.

That’s it for this one!  I’m The Dude on the Right!!  L8R!!!

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Go and see “King Kong,” Radio Shack Still Has Problems, and I Really Wanted to Like “The Family Stone.”

By:

The Dude on the Right

First off, and I’m hoping word of mouth will propel this movie, but for goodness
sake if you are a fan of movies, or if you just like an entertaining movie, or
you just want to spend about three hours immersed in a time of wonder, or if you
might want to get weepy, or you are curious to see how movie-making has changed
from the 1933 version to this version, go see "King Kong" at a theater near you. 
It did okay at the box office this weekend, around $50 million, but not nearly
the numbers the film studio was hoping for I’m sure.  But as movies come
and go, I’m hoping "King Kong" has some staying power, kind of like "Titanic,"
because it deserves it.  I was this close to changing my mind and seeing it
again today, instead of "Syriana,"  and between the two, "King Kong" is a
million times more entertaining (although "Syriana" does challenge your mind a
little more).  Fine, it’s not for those under, probably 10 or 11 or so, but
for everyone else, the dudes will love the action, the dudettes will love the
sentimentality, and sure, you know how it ends, but you knew the Titanic sank
and you still went to see that one.  "King Kong" in 2005 does not deserve
to be a box office miss-step.  Enough preaching, now to Radio Shack, and
this story will probably make this blog a little too long, but I’ve got to write
what I’ve got to write, so let’s get to it.

My podcast a few days spoke about
my disappointment in visiting a couple of Radio Shack stores, and the lack of
really getting me the items I needed.  I have to say that my experience
yesterday was better, but at one store, still lacking, not because of the sales
dudette not wanting to help me, but because of poor training in my eyes, and
that’s not a good thing as we come upon Christmas.  You see I’ve been
working on this "not so high tech nor super high quality" portable podcast
studio.  My goal is to be able to make a multiple person podcast on the
road, and even get it posted, and all of it fitting in a nice case.  First
necessity a laptop, and since it’s the holiday season, I had that licked and at
little bit of a break.  Other than the nice case, the rest of the parts
should have been easily available at one or two of my local Radio Shack stores. 
They sell basic microphones and a portable mixing board capable of either four
microphones or two microphones and one line input.  They also sell the
patch cables, wind screens for the microphones, and 9 volt batteries.  So
last week I started my hunt, and at the first store I went to they had nothing I
needed on display, nor the tags where the item might have been so I could
inquire if they might have had it in the back room.  That and they didn’t
greet me.  Next stop the mall.  Not too busy, a couple of salespeople
talking amongst themselves, and I give every indication I’m looking to buy
something.  Yup, I found the mixer, but oddly enough the basic microphones
were nowhere to be seen, and even though I picked up the mixer, was making sure
it had all of the ports, plugs, outputs, that I needed, narry a sale-dude came
over to ask me if I was interested in buying anything.  I don’t play that
game, especially since I know how the sales game should at least be played. 
At the third store, I have to admit that the dude was nice enough, but upon
telling him what I was looking for, and not checking in the back, or at least on
the computer, he announced they didn’t have any, but he could order them for me. 
I wanted to buy, if I wanted to order I would do so on the web.

So yesterday I
was on a mission, to finally get all of the damn things I needed.  I did
some initial investigative work the day before, where at least the Radio Shack
web site said a different store had, in stock as of Friday, the items I were
looking for, and after seeing "The Family Stone," I headed the dude-mobile in
the direction of that store.  Upon entering the store I was greeted by who
seemed to be a newbie, mostly because she was younger and asked me a taught
sales line of "Hello, what brings you into Radio Shack today?"  It’s
actually a good sales line, but most sales-folk forget it after a while, when
they have become disgruntled as sales-folk, and just say something really
generic like "Is there something I can help you find?"  Anyway, enough of
my knowing sales technics.  Being a previous Manager of a Radio Shack, and
knowing all of the things they used to look for in a saleperson at the end of
the day at the corporate level, I figured, hoped, wanted this to be her easiest,
sort of high ticket, multiple line item especially since it included a battery,
and I might even spend the extra couple of bucks on the service plan to help her
out, sale of the day.  I was her perfect customer, knowing exactly what I
needed, knowing the Radio Shack product line, knowing she didn’t know the add-on
items like the wind screens and the battery needed for the mixer, and knowing
that if I bought the couple of buck service plan on the microphones I could
pretty much walk into a Radio Shack a couple of years from now, say the
microphone wasn’t working, and be given a new one on the spot.  But, sadly,
her training was nowhere to be found, and I really felt bad for her.  She
wasn’t really sure of the mixer I was looking for, but there was one, in the
box, on the shelf, so I nicely told her it was the first thing I was looking
for.  Next, there weren’t any microphones on the shelf, out of the box, nor
the boxes for the microphones, so I nicely asked if that meant they were out of
stock.  She didn’t think they were, but they might be in the back, so she
went to her manager, with the tag from the shelf that clearly said
"Unidirectional Microphone," stating that I wanted two of them, and her manager
said there were two microphone stands in the back room, somewhere on a top
shelf.  The girl came back with the microphone stands and I had to crush
her the first time by informing her I was looking for microphones, not mic
stands, and I could hear the nervousness in her voice as she went back to her
manager, who somewhat scolded her, then sent her back in the back room, where
she came out with two microphones, and we proceeded to head to the counter,
where I forgot all about the wind screens.  The girl starts ringing up the
sale, finishes clicking on everything, and comes up with a total of a little
over twenty bucks.  I’m too honest, and felt bad at this time because I
also noticed she grabbed two different microphones that weren’t even the mic’s I
was looking for, and nicely said "Something must be wrong."  Alright,
enough rambling.  Still rattled, the girl went into the back room, turns
out they only had one of the microphones I was looking for, and as I kept trying
to be up-beat with her, that mistakes happen and all, I couldn’t help but wonder
what happened to at least the simple training that should be necessary in a
store such as Radio Shack.  All the manager did, without doing it, was set
up this girl, who seemed nice enough, and eager enough, to fail.  Finally I
got smart, called another store saying I needed X number of these, X number of
these, and one of these.  The dude, Alex, plugged the numbers into his
computer, said the computer showed he had all of them but wanted to quickly
check the back room to make sure the microphones were back there.  He came
back on the line, said they were in stock, I told him I would be there soon, he
nicely asked "Please ask for Alex when you come in," and he had the easiest sale
of the day.  I still feel a little bad for the younger dudette from the
earlier store, because she at least tried, much more than I can say for the
stores before hers, and Alex either had a manager who really taught him the
ropes getting into the holiday season, or at least just knew an easy sale when
he saw it.

Look, I’m still a fan of the Shack, still know that when I need
certain things I know where I can go, but from now on, I suppose if I’m really
looking for something I should call first, doing all of the selling to myself,
and just be bummed I’m not getting the commission or perks they used to give
when I was there.

Well, that’s enough lamenting about my Radio Shack struggles
these days.  I’ve got a podcast yet to do on my mobile podcast studio and a
Chicago Bears game to watch.  That and still get this blog, the podcast,
and my review of "The Family Stone" posted.  There’s never enough hours in
a Sunday sometimes.

That’s it for this one!  I’m The Dude on the Right!!  L8R!!!